1-888-414-6437   info@skedaddle.com
United Kingdom

Hadrian's Cycleway & Coast & Castles

Self-Guided Leisure Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

10 days

Prices from

$1,480 P.P.
United Kingdom

Hadrian's Cycleway & Coast & Castles

Self-Guided Leisure Bike Tour

Grade

1
2
3
4
5

Duration

10 days

Prices from

$1,480 P.P.
BOOK NOW
Journey through time on this historic cycling vacation following in the footsteps of Roman soldiers in Hadrian's Wall country before cycling along the stunning Northumberland Coast with its numerous ancient castles and dramatic landscapes. Heading inland from the border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed you'll cycle along the beautiful Tweed valley before gently climbing over the Moorfoot Hills and dropping into Edinburgh.
Utilizing the National Cycle Network from Bowness-on-Solway on the West coast, through Newcastle and onto Edinburgh, this unique cycling tour in the UK allows you to experience some of the rich heritage that Cumbria, Northumberland and the Borders have to offer, from cycling in open hill country, through peaceful river valleys and along dramatic coastlines. The route passes through some of the most beautiful parts of England and skirts a number of fascinating Roman sites including Birdoswald Fort, Walltown Quarry and Vindolanda as well as the ancient castles of Warkworth, Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh to name but a few. If tide and time allow it is worth taking the additional 7 mile round trip to visit the historic island of Lindisfarne, otherwise known as Holy Island, with its peaceful priory and prominent castle.
After arriving into Newcastle you spend the first night in this vibrant city before we transfer you the following morning to Bowness-on-Solway and the start of your ride which ends 290 miles later in Edinburgh, Scotland's capital city, where we will meet you and if required, transfer you back to Newcastle for your onward journey home.
This self-guided trip is for a minimum of 2 people and accommodation, transfers, luggage transfers and emergency back-up are all included in the price. We also provide detailed route notes and maps to enable you to do the route self-guided. Nothing could be simpler!
Coastandcastles2 copy.jpg

Highlights

  • The sense of achievement having ridden not one but two long distance cycle routes!
  • Following in the footsteps of the Roman Empire along Hadrian’s Wall
  • Castles galore!
  • Miles of pristine dunes, sandy beaches and stunning vistas
  • Your first glimpse of Edinburgh as you cycle over the Moorfoot hills
  • Flexibility to choose your own start date

Back to Top

This truly was the best holiday we have ever had. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts. You have been our Angels from the North!

Annette and Robert, UK

Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival into Newcastle
Non Cycling Day

Getting to Newcastle is easy. If you are planning to arrive by air, there is an airport at Newcastle with direct services to Newcastle Central train station. For those arriving by car, you will be able to leave your vehicle at your accommodation, or if the train is your preferred transport mode, you can either take a taxi from the station to your accommodation or it is just a short 10-15 minute walk away.

Day 2
Bowness-on-Solway to Gilsland
37 Miles / 59 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 700m

After a hearty breakfast, you will be met by our Skedaddle representative at your accommodation in Newcastle who will provide you with your hire bikes (if hiring), an Information Pack including route notes, maps and additional information for your trip. They will then transfer you to Bowness-on-Solway to begin your journey. Bowness-on-Solway is the beginning of the Hadrian’s Wall National Trail, and the village sits on the stunning Solway Firth (an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). The views of Scotland from here are simply breathtaking. The area is also a haven for wildlife.

Our first day’s riding is a gentle introduction to the trip with a flat ride by the banks of the Solway Firth before skirting Carlisle. This thriving regional city is well worth a visit if time allows; showcasing some of the area’s historic treasures in the Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery, and boasting Carlisle Castle. From here you will make your way towards Warwick Bridge; this section along the river is very picturesque – so cameras at the ready! A short roller coaster of a ride then takes you past Lanercost, with its impressive Augustinian priory which was a key target for Scots in retaliation to English raids, and then onto our first real uphill section of the day towards Gilsland. Just before Birdoswald Roman Fort, there is a superb section of Hadrian’s Wall, right next to your cycling route.

Day 3
Gilsland to Corbridge
31 Miles / 50 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 700m

Today you will cross the Pennine watershed and gradually climb out of Greenhead before a welcome descent into the South Tyne Valley down into Haltwhistle. If you‘re in need of a rest and recharge (and maybe a cake and cup of tea), there are plenty of tea shops here to take your pick from. At Bardon Mill you head back up the South Tyne Valley to a summit at Smith’s Shield before an exhilarating descent to Vindolanda; a Roman frontier military and civilian site, and a must for those in search of Roman history and culture. A cheeky climb takes you to Crindledykes, the highest point of the route at 263 metres above sea level. You then drop towards Fourstones before passing through the market town of Hexham and towards the garrison town of Corbridge.

Day 4
Corbridge to Tynemouth
32 Miles / 52 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 450m

With all the major climbs behind you, the route begins to follow the valley floor towards Prudhoe. Passing through the pretty villages of Ovingham and Wylam, passing Robert Stephenson’s Cottage, and then crossing the River Tyne twice, you will cycle along an old wagonway towards Newcastle following the banks of the Tyne. You will take in views of the famous bridges across the river, including the “blinking eye” Millennium Bridge, with the imposing Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art dominating the skyline. The Cycle Hub is situated just after this and the perfect place for a well-earned cuppa and a slice of delicious homemade cake. It’s dedicated to the cyclist and also the home of Saddle Skedaddle so why not come and say hello?

Not far to go now as you head into the heart of the shipbuilding area of the Tyne. On passing Wallsend – literally the “Wall’s end“, keep an eye out for Segedunum Roman Fort Museum if you fancy a little more Roman history to end your Hadrian’s Wall experience. Continuing along close to the river we soon reach the North Shields Fish Quay, where you’ll find a bustling little harbour and be able to sample some of the finest fish and chips in the North-East! You are now at the mouth of the Tyne and a few more pedal turns lead to your final destination, Tynemouth. Time to celebrate your achievement of cycling from the West coast to the East coast along Hadrian’s Cycleway!

Day 5
Tynemouth to Warkworth
36 Miles / 58 Kms. Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 300m

Founded at the beginning of the 7th Century and having one of the most beautiful views of the coast, Tynemouth Priory and Castle was once one of the biggest fortresses and religious sites in England. You continue cycling along the seafront, past the Victorian resort of Whitley Bay and on to the sea port of Blyth. You’ll soon leave the urban surroundings behind and pass into much more open countryside and quiet country lanes. Don’t miss the stunning Druridge Bay with its seven mile sandy beach, nature reserve and some of Northumberland’s biggest sand dunes. You finish today in Warkworth famous for its impressive 12th century castle and almost complete keep built over 600 years ago by the first Earl of Northumberland.

Day 6
Warkworth to Bamburgh
27 Miles / 43 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 400m

Your first stop this morning is the pretty village of Alnmouth. After stopping for a quick cup of tea your route takes you towards the attractive coastal village of Craster and the impressive medieval castles of Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh. At Bamburgh, as well as the castle in its dramatic setting on a rock outcrop, there is the Grace Darling museum, a famous heroine of the lifeboats.

Day 7
Bamburgh to Berwick-upon-Tweed
25 Miles / 40 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 400m

Just up the coast from Bamburgh you come to Lindisfarne, otherwise known as Holy Island, a key site in early Christianity and the place where the Lindisfarne Gospels were created in the 8th century. If the tide and time allows, it’s worth the extra 7 mile round trip to visit the island by crossing the tidal causeway. From Holy Island, it’s on to the Elizabethan border town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, with its complex defences built up over the years of border wars, and your stopping place for the night.

Day 8
Berwick-upon-Tweed to Kelso
30 Miles / 48 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 500m

From Berwick-upon-Tweed, it’s inland, along the Tweed valley to Kelso. On the way you’ll cross the border into Scotland, then back into England over the famous Union Suspension Bridge, that spans the River Tweed between Horncliffe in Northumberland and Fishwick in the Scottish Borders. At the Chainbridge Honey Farm, you can get a cup of tea and feast yourselves on yummy cakes and enjoy them on a vintage double decker bus! As the name implies, you can buy lots of honey there too. A few miles on you cross back into Scotland at Norham Castle, and on to Kelso, with the impressive Floors Castle and your first night spent over the border!

Day 9
Kelso to Innerleithen
32 Miles / 52 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 650m

This morning you head to Melrose, famed for its impressive Gothic-style abbey, which is thought to be the burial place of Robert the Bruce’s heart! Leaving Melrose, you continue along the increasingly deep Tweed Valley, surrounded by forested hills and following the course of this famous salmon river to Innerleithen, passing Traquair House, reputedly the oldest continually inhabited house in Scotland.

Day 10
Innerleithen to Edinburgh
38 Miles / 61 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast
  • Ascent: 650m

Heading north out of Innerleithen the route climbs up an over the Moorfoot Hills, with views of Edinburgh in the distance. Dropping down from the hills and heading through Dalkeith and Musselburgh you make your way into Edinburgh through the Innocent Tunnel and past Arthur’s Seat to the finish point. Here you will be met here by our guide / representative for the journey back to Newcastle. The finish point has been chosen for its close proximity to Edinburgh’s Waverley Station, should you be departing by train.

Back to Top

The Cycling

Terrain

Most of the route follows quiet country lanes, cycle tracks, and some bridleways. There are a few off-road sections with tracks across grassy fields or farm roads and some urban riding. Being a National Cycle Network route, there are no “technical” off-road sections. With a mix of tarmac and some gravel or stoney/grass surfaces the ride can be completed on almost any type of bike. Some riders will find that with a little extra care the off-road sections can be ridden on a road bike with touring tyres fitted, however there are tarmac alternatives to the standard route if preferred.

UK-Hadrians-Cycleway-Self-Guided-Leisure-Cycling-Holiday.jpg

Leisure Cycling Grade

1
2
3
4
5
Grade 3 : Moderate

Distances generally between 20-45 miles / 32-72 kms per day

For the leisure cyclist with a good level of physical fitness

May include some steeper, cheeky climbs

Possibly sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc).

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

Although you may not cycle everyday, you do keep yourself relatively fit and maybe enjoy an afternoon out on your bike at the weekend. Your preference is perhaps for flatter terrain but you don’t mind tackling some hills, and the occasional steep climb if you can take it at your own pace. For those happy to tackle some ups and downs, and possibly some sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc) we’d recommend our grade 3 trips. We’d generally expect those on a Grade 3 trip to have a decent level of physical fitness and be comfortable with some longer days in the saddle.

Back to Top

Dates & Prices

From April to mid-October you choose your start date. Just give us a call or drop us an e mail to check availability.

Choose your date
Start Date
End Date
Duration
Price p.p.
Start Date
Return Date
--/--/----
Duration
10 days
Price
$1,480.00

Whats Included Tick

A) Accommodation (shared twin rooms)

B) Meals as per the itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

C) Skedaddle App to access holiday information and navigation

D) Detailed Skedaddle route notes and relevant maps

E) GPX files available upon request

F) Luggage transfer service

G) Skedaddle Local Representative

H) Emergency tool kit, pump etc. (if hiring your bike from Skedaddle)

What's not Included Cross

A) Personal clothing and equipment

B) Travel insurance

C) Bar bills, telephone calls, souvenirs, etc.

D) Bike & helmet hire (available if required)

E) Travel or flight costs and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

F) Single room option (may be available if required)

G) Entrance fees to cultural or historical sites and visitor centres

H) Other optional activities

Back to Top

The Essentials

Travel Options

With its excellent rail and air connections getting to Newcastle is easy. Newcastle has an airport, although transatlantic options are limited and most routes will come via London – there is a supplement payable if you require picking up and returning to Newcastle airport. If you would prefer to catch the train the most convenient station for arrival is Newcastle. Your hotel is a 15 minute walk, or 10 minute taxi ride, away from the station. Following completion of the ride in Edinburgh, you will be met by our representative at 16.30. You will then either start your return train journey from here or you will be transported back to Newcastle airport if necessary. Please do not book any return trains from Edinburgh prior to 18.00 and return trains from Newcastle prior to 20.00.

Please contact us for more detailed information on the specific schedules that we recommend for your holiday and check with us before booking your travel so that we can ensure it fits with the trip schedule.

Accommodation

In the UK we use small, good quality 3 or 4 star hotels, B&Bs, inns and small family-run hotels. Our trips are operated on a twin-share basis but single rooms can be provided, subject to availability, for a supplement if requested at the time of booking.

Bike Hire

If you would like to hire a bike we have both hybrid and electric bikes available to hire. The hybrid bikes are generally Giant Roam or Liv Rove with a large 30 speed gear range, semi-slick tyres and a relaxed riding position. Our electric bikes are generally Giant Entour 2 E+2 Disc pedal assist bikes with 300Wh batteries.

Helmets and panniers are provided with all our hire bikes along with an emergency repair kit including a spare innertube, bike pump and bike lock.

Back to Top

News, Reviews & Stories

Britain's 9 best days out

We’ve asked our experts to put together a list of fun days out on bikes.

12 hours in...Newcastle

Stopping off in Newcastle pre/post trip? Don't miss our ultimate guide to the city.

Cycling in Northumberland

A journey along the northern boundary of the Roman Empire...

Reviews

1

You May Also Like...

Back to Top